There has been plenty of action in the transfer market in recent days, with Discovery, T-Mobile, Cof
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Discovery Channel have bolstered their roster for 2006 by signing Russian Vladimir Gusev, Australian Trent Lowe and Belgian Jurgen van Goolen. The trio joins the previously signed Spaniard Egoi Martinez.
“With the addition of Martinez, Van Goolen, Lowe and Gusev to go along with Janez Brajkovic, who just turned professional and joined our team about one month ago, we’re adding five strong young riders to our team,” said team manager Johan Bruyneel.”
– Rik Verbrugghe, who just missed out on victory in the first stage of the Vuelta at the weekend, is leaving Quick Step for Cofidis. “It is a great shame that we are loosing an athlete like Rik,” explained team manager Patrick Lefevere. “Rik is at a great moment in his career and has received an offer from Cofidis that unfortunately we cannot match. I am really pleased, however, that Rik has found once again a certain continuity with his results whilst riding for the team.”
– Saunier Duval have announced the signing of Koldo Gil on a two-year deal. A stage-winner at the Giro in May, Gil’s opportunities at Liberty Seguros were likely to have been curtailed following the signings of Andrei Kashechkin and Alexandre Vinokourov.
– Swedish rider Marcus Ljungqvist has signed a one-year contract with Team CSC. Thirty-year-old Ljungqvist began his career in 1998 at Cantina Tollo and has taken 11 victories as a professional, among them overall victory in Tour of Luxembourg in 2002, where he was riding for Danish Team fakta with Kim Andersen, who is now with CSC, as sports director.
“We are very happy to have Marcus on our team for next season. He is a really good rider, who has the right attitude and fits perfectly on the team. Primarily, he is a reinforcement to our Classics team, but he is a rider who has the ability to make a difference in almost any kind of race,” said CSC team boss Bjarne Riis.
– Tour de France stage-winner Lorenzo Bernucci has switched from Fassa Bortolo to T-Mobile on a two-year deal. He follows Fassa team-mate Kim Kirchen, another recent recruit to T-Mobile.
“Lorenzo Bernucci is a young rider with huge potential,” says team manager Olaf Ludwig. “Lorenzo has what it takes to race for victory at the demanding Belgian Classics. He will get his chance.”
Lorenzo Bernucci is the team’s sixth addition for the coming season. T-Mobile have also recruited Patrik Sinkewitz, Michael Rogers (both from Quick Step), Jrg Ludewig (Domina Vacanze), Thomas Ziegler (Gerolsteiner) and Kirchen.
– Double Giro stage-winner Ivan Parra is another signing for the French Cofidis team, agreeing a two-year deal with Cofidis team manager Eric Boyer before the start of the Vuelta in Granada. The 29-year-old Colombian will lead the French squad in week-long stage races such as the Dauphin and Tour of Switzerland.
– Another Spanish-speaker on his way to France is Jos Luis Arrieta, who is following Illes Balears team-mates Francisco Mancebo and David Navas to Ag2r. Having already signed French riders Christophe Moreau, John Gadret and Carl Naibo, Ag2r need to make just one more signing to reach a roster of 25, as required by the ProTour, which they are hoping to be part of next season.
– With Gilberto Simoni and Eddy Mazzoleni heading out, Lampre-Caffita have moved to bolster their support for leader Damiano Cunego by signing Phonak climber Tadej Valjavec. Winner of the Baby Giro six years ago, the Slovene is set to ride in support of Cunego in the mountains at major tours.